Over the years, readers have sent some wonderful questions for the Mailbag in the Sunday outdoors page in the Sun-Times, but Dave McDonald sent a first of its kind whaisit.
``While out metal detecting recently I found a metal tag. The tag says 1938 Illinois Dept. Conservation and a number--V17646. Is this an old deer tag or something else?''
That is the kind of question I love.
I reached out to Mike Conlin, who retired a couple years ago as chief of Illinois' office of resource conservation and had three decades prior to that as Illinois fisheries chief.
He said, ``A quick look makes me think that it is a tag for a basket trap, seine, hoop net or gill net.''
Conlin said that in 1907 the first commercial license was required in Illinois to use a seine to harvest fish.
That fits with where McDonald, in a follow up e-mail, told me that he found it in ``a park in South Holland'' next to the Calumet.
Any additional thoughts from readers or experts, not that readers and experts can't overlap, please post below or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.